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'09 Authors Insider Tips

Everything About Epublishing
by Angela James
Digital Publishing & Print
Common Myths of Epublishing
Ebook Formats and Devices

by Louisa Burton
Compelling Characters
Point of View, Part I
Point of View, Part II
Learning to Love Conflict
Story Structure
Keep ‘em Guessing
Keep it Simple
Keep Your Writing Real
The Importance of Pacing

Literary Streetwalker
by M. Christian
New World of Publishing
To Blog Or Not To Blog
Meeting & Making Friends
Thinking Beyond Sex
Selling Books
Walking the Line
e-book, e-publisher, e-fun
Still More E-book Fun

Shameless Self-Promotion
by Donna George Storey
Our Journey Begins
Pitches and Bios
Websites, Blogs & Readers
Publicists, Press Kits and...
Viva the Internet
Adventures in Cyberspace
Promoting In the Flesh
Make Your Own Movie
Bigger is Better
Looking Back, Planning Ahead

Two Girls Kissing
by Amie M. Evans
Questions to Ask Yourself...
Tough All Over

The Write Stuff
by Ashley Lister
Practice Makes Prefect
5 Books for Fiction Authors
Poetry In Motions
Six Serving Men
Ashley Lister is Anal
Stealing Ideas
Celebrating Poetry

2009 Smutters Lounge

Ashley Lister Submits
by Ashley Lister

Cooking Up A Storey
by Donna George Storey
A Year of Living Shamelessly
Adultery, Exhibitionism ...
John Updike Made Me Do It ...
Story Soup: Forbidden ...
Lessons from Amazon
Naked Lunches ...
Erotic Alchemy
Secrets of Seduction
Are You a “Real” Writer?
Don’t Fondle My Sentence

Cracking Foxy
with Robert Buckley
The Passionate Taphophile
Havens on Earth
A Knight Without Armor
Magic Carpet Rides
Getting Hammered
Keep It Quiet
Hang Around for a Spell

Get All Worked Up
with J.T. Benjamin
Worked Up About Why
Worked Up About Why, Part II
All Worked Up About Porn
The Catholic Church
Purity Movement
The National Crisis
The Future
About Homosexuality
Public Indiscretions

Pondering Porn
with Ann Regentin
Premature Ejaculation
Auctioning Off What?

Sex Is All Metaphors
by Jean Roberta
Who's Who Around the Table
Ritual Sex
Mixed Legacy
The Spectrum of Consent
Drawing the Line
Marriage without the Hype
The Distracting Smirk
Innocent Guns
Gardens of Earthly Delights

Provocative Interviews

Between the Lines
with Ashley Lister
Anneke Jacob
D L King
Kristina Lloyd
Lisabet Sarai
Mitzi Szereto
Portia Da Costa
Shanna Germain
Sommer Marsden
Susan DiPlacido

Guest Appearances

Marketing a Self-Published Novel
by Jeanne Ainslie

Between the Lines

Ashley Lister talks to Portia Da Costa


Portia Da Costa

It would be pointless for me to introduce Portia Da Costa by listing her published titles because there are too many.  The chances are, if you’ve read more than one Black Lace novel, you’ve read Portia Da Costa.  An accomplished author with more than two dozen erotic fiction titles to her credit, Portia has been translated into a variety of languages and been the recipient of numerous accolades and awards. 

And, whilst there are a million and one questions I want to ask Portia about her creativity, imagination and impressive time-management abilities, the main area I want to focus on is her character portrayal. 

Portia’s erotic fiction is sex-positive, entertaining and raunchy.  Her characters are all individual, well-created and a pleasure to meet.  And those characters keep repeatedly appearing in her fiction, playing cameo roles in Portia’s other novels.

Ashley Lister: Do you base your characters on real people? 

Portia Da Costa: Not the heroines, but I do base the heroes – visually – on film and television actors that I fancy. The hero of whichever TV series or movie I’m into at any given time is likely to turn up as the hero of my current Work in Progress. But my characters never have the personality of either the actor or the character he portrays. I just use their looks as a visual template for a new story person that I create.

Ashley Lister: Why do your characters repeatedly appear in other titles?  Is it because the characters “speak to you” and demand subsequent roles in your work?  Is it a technique to allow the familiar characters to add established colour and texture to the new story world?  Or is this a game you’re playing between you and your constant readers?

Portia Da Costa: My characters tend to reappear because during the course of writing their stories, I get to know them and grow fond of them, and I don’t want to think I’ll never “see” them again. And I know from feedback I get that readers also want to see their favourites again too.

Ashley Lister: It’s not just the characters that appear occasionally in other stories.  The Waverley Grange has been the background to shenanigans for Robert Stone and Maria Lewis in Entertaining Mr. Stone as well as the hub of activities in Suite Seventeen and the locale for an illicit encounter in In Too Deep.  Do you ever worry that you’re going to accidentally change the layout of the Waverley Grange?  What do you do to stop this from happening? 

Portia Da Costa: No, I don’t worry too much about changing the layout of the Waverley because I make a point of not pinning the place down too much in terms of the specifics of spatial description. The only thing I’m specific on is the chintz in the décor of the rooms and suites. And I have no idea why I decided the place was going to be chintzy. It just is.

Ashley Lister: The clever trick about these cameo appearances is that they’re such a subtle device.  New readers don’t need to have read every Portia Da Costa title to understand the reason for the character being in a particular story.  Most likely they’re just going to think they’re reading a very well-rounded minor character.  But regular readers can appreciate that familiar characters from previous stories still exist within the story-world you’ve created and are continuing to grow.  How do you manage this balance?  Is it just fortune and serendipity that allows you to think – this would be an ideal place for Bobby Stone to put in an appearance?  Or are you working toward the completion of an overall masterplan?

Portia Da Costa: Ha ha! No masterplans for me, alas. I’ve set four books and a few stories in what I call “Stoneworld” now, but it’s mainly just a happy accident if a scene or situation occurs where a character from a previous book can make an appearance. I try not to make instances of recurring characters turning up seem too contrived. But on the other hand, if I need a certain type of person to appear in a story, and I’ve already got a character like that, why not reintroduce them?

Ashley Lister: When you’re developing a new character for a new novel, does it ever cross your mind that the character will be appearing in future stories?

Portia Da Costa: Not really. Not consciously. Although I suppose I should plan for characters to reappear in other stories, as many readers love series books, linked plots and continuity novels. I certainly do in my own reading.

Ashley Lister: What stories are you currently working on?  And can we expect to see any familiar faces in your forthcoming novels?

Portia Da Costa: I’ve just finished the first draft of Kiss it Better, which also takes place in the “Borough” of Entertaining Mr Stone, Suite Seventeen and In Too Deep fame. It’s fairly loosely connected to them though, as the action occurs mainly in a small town on the outskirts of “Stoneworld”. The hero does stay at the Waverley while he’s in the area, and there are some scenes set there and some brief references to former characters e.g. Valentino Guidetti, the hotel’s owner/manager. Some other familiar characters aren’t actually mentioned by name in the story but might be there in the background.

As to whether there will be more “Stoneworld” books or stories, I really don’t know at this stage. I’d like to do some more, eventually, I think. But at the moment, I’m having fun developing entirely new characters and settings.

Find out more about Portia Da Costa at:

Ashley Lister
December '08 - January '09

"Between the Lines" © 2008 Ashley Lister. All rights reserved.

About the Author:  Ashley Lister is a UK author responsible for more than two-dozen erotic novels written under a variety of pseudonyms. His most recent work, Swingers: True Confessions from Today's Modern Swinging Scene (Virgin Books; ISBN: 0753511355), a non-fiction book recounting the exploits of UK swingers, is his first title published under his own name.
Ashley’s non-fiction has appeared in a variety of magazines, including Forum, Chapter & Verse and The International Journal of Erotica.  Nexus, Chimera and Silver Moon have published his full-length fiction, with shorter stories appearing in anthologies edited by Maxim Jakubowski, Rachel Kramer Bussel and Mitzi Szereto.  He is very proud to be a regular contributor to ERWA.
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'09 Movie Reviews

Blame It On Savanna
Review by Byrdman

Cry Wolf
Review by Spooky

Review by Spooky

Heaven or Hell
Review by Oranje

House of Wicked
Review by Diesel

The Office: An XXX Parody
Review by Spooky

This Ain't The Partridge Family
Review by Spooky

'09 Book Reviews


A Slip of the Lip (ebook)
Review by Jean Roberta

Best Women's Erotica '09
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Bottoms Up
Review by Ashley Lister

Enchanted Again
Review by Victoria Blisse

Review by Kathleen Bradean

Girls on Top
Review by Ashley Lister

In Sleeping Beauty’s Bed
Review by Ashley Lister

Libidacoria (Poetry)
Review by Ashley Lister

Licks & Promises
Review by Ashley Lister

Like a Thorn (ebook)
Review by Lisabet Sarai

The Mile High Club
Review by Ashley Lister

Nexus Confessions: Vol 5
Review by Victoria Blisse

Nexus Confessions 6
Review by Victoria Blisse

Oysters & Chocolate
Review by Kristina Wright

Playing with Fire
Review by Ashley Lister

Sexy Little Numbers Vol 1
Review by Ashley Lister

Up for Grabs
Review by Lisabet Sarai


A 21st Century Courtesan
Review by Donna G. Storey

The Ages of Lulu
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Amanda’s Young Men
Review by Kristina Wright

As She's Told
Review by Ashley Lister

Bedding Down
Review by Victoria Blisse

Review by Ashley Lister

Brushes & Painted Dolls
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Cassandras Chateau
Review by Ashley Lister

The Edge of Impropriety
Review by Kristina Wright

Review by Kathleen Bradean

Free Pass
Review by Ashley Lister

The Gift of Shame
Review by Victoria Blisse

Kiss It Better
Review by Ashley Lister

The Melinoe Project
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Mortal Engines & The ...
Review by Ashley Lister

The New Rakes
Review by Ashley Lister

Ninety Days of Genevieve
Review by Victoria Blisse

Obsession: An Erotic Tale
Review by Kristina Wright

Sarah's Education
Review by Ashley Lister

Seduce Me
Review by Lisabet Sarai

Lesbian Erotica

Lesbian Cowboys
Review by Kathleen Bradean

Night's Kiss
Review by Jean Roberta

Where the Girls Are
Review by Jean Roberta

Gay Erotica

Animal Attraction 2
Review by Kathleen Bradean

Boys in Heat
Review by Vincent Diamond

Review by Lisabet Sarai

The Low Road
Review by Jean Roberta

Personal Demons
Review by Jean Roberta

Ready to Serve
Review by Vincent Diamond

The Secret Tunnel
Review by Kathleen Bradean

Review by Kathleen Bradean

Review by Vincent Diamond


Best Sex Writing '09
Review by Kristina Wright

The Big Penis Book
Review by Rob Hardy

Erotic Encounters
Review by Rob Hardy

The Forbidden Apple
Review by Rob Hardy

Hollywood’s Censor
Review by Rob Hardy

Lady in Red
Review by Rob Hardy

Licentious Gotham: Erotic...
Review by Rob Hardy

Live Nude Elf
Review by Rob Hardy

Live Nude Girl
Review by Rob Hardy

The Other Side of Desire
Review by Rob Hardy

Scripts 4 Play
Review by Ashley Lister